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Category Archives: Jig

Smash the Windows (D)

“Smash the Windows” is a single jig, called Bris Na Fuinneogide in Irish.  It is an old one and has become part of a number of traditions: Irish, English, Shetland (Island of Whalsay), Prince Edward Island, American (esp. New England). While the melody appears in the manuscript copybook of English Fiddler John Fife, compiled between 1780 […]

Hag in the churn (Ador)

This jig is much more typically called “Hag at the Churn,” and is one of a number of “hag” tunes: “Hag with the Money,” “Hag in the Kiln,” “Hag at The Spinning Wheel,” “Hag’s Purse,” “Old Hag You Have Killed Me.” However, though today “hag” is a dysphemism for self-assured and unflappable women, in more magical times […]

The Frost Is All Over (D)

“The Frost Is All Over” has been an extremely popular tune for more than 400 years.  It has been around so long that it has many versions and many names.  Also, there are other tunes that will have (nearly) the same A-part or B-part, and if you find yourself among people who are from different […]

Blarney Pilgrim (G)

“Blarney Pilgrim” appears as tune #1099 in O’Neill’s 1850 (1903). There are numbers of variations of this tune at sessions, and quite a bit of confusion over its tonal center – which is really of concern only to those backing/accompanying the tune. The melody was especially popular at sessions in the 1970s, and though a […]

Maids of Selma (G|Eaeol)

This jig, “Maids of Selma” in English, is “An Maigdean Ua Selma” in Irish.   It shows up as tune #250 in O’Neill’s Music of Ireland (1903) – referred to as “O’Neill’s 1850” because there are 1,850 tunes in it — and it’s #65 The Roche Collection of Traditional Irish Music (1927).  It is usually played […]

Morrison’s Jig (Edor)

This jig, usually just called “Morrison’s,” gets its name from the renowned Sligo-born Irish-American fiddler James Morrison (1891 – 1947) who, in fact, did not write it.  He was, of course, older than that California musician who named his band after Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception (1954).  Our James Morrison learned the tune from a […]

My Darling Asleep (D)

The jig entitled “My Darling Asleep” is #925 in O’Neill’s 1850 (1903).  The piper and pipe maker Leo Rowsome (1903-1970) used to recount a story in which Chief O’Neill (1848-1936) got this tune from Abram Sweetman Beamish of co. Cork, who called it “My Darling in Bed.” O’Neill thought that that title was just too suggestive, […]

Banish Misfortune (Dmix)

Brendan Breathnach (1912–1985), the piper, avid tune collector, and lecturer, has reported that the jig “Banish Misfortune” was first published in P.W. Joyce’s Ancient Irish Music  (1873) under the title “The Bag of Meal,” which would have banished some misfortune for many just a few decades earlier.  In fact, the title seems to indicate that […]

The Old Favorite (G)

This popular jig is from co. Clare.  Sometimes called “The Clare” or “The Club Céili Jig” and played as a slide, “The Old Favorite” is sometimes referred to as a “jiggy slide” since it can go either way.  Usually played in G, it can also be played in Gaeol for a very different feel.  As for its […]

The Kesh Jig (G)

“The Kesh Jig” is on the Bothy Band album called The Bothy Band  (1975), and thereafter became a popular session tune.  Often just referred to as “The Kesh,” it’s not as popular as it once was, in the 1980s for example, mostly because it is considered by some to have been over-played.  It probably wouldn’t […]